She studied a cohort of children from Kauai , Hawaii. Kauai was quite poor and many of the children in the study grew up with alcoholic or mentally ill parents. Many of the parents were also out of work. However, one-third of these youngsters did not exhibit destructive behaviours. Werner called the latter group 'resilient'.
Resilience also emerged as a major theoretical and research topic from the studies of children with mothers diagnosed with schizophrenia in the s. On the other hand, some children of ill parents thrived well and were competent in academic achievement, and therefore led researchers to make efforts to understand such responses to adversity.
Resilience in a Hotter World
Since the onset of the research on resilience, researchers have been devoted to discovering the protective factors that explain people's adaptation to adverse conditions, such as maltreatment,  catastrophic life events,  or urban poverty. Researchers endeavor to uncover how some factors e. In all these instances, resilience is best understood as a process. However, it is often mistakenly assumed to be a trait of the individual, an idea more typically referred to as "resiliency". When people are faced with an adverse condition, there are three ways in which they may approach the situation.
Only the third approach promotes well-being. It is employed by resilient people, who become upset about the disruptive state and thus change their current pattern to cope with the issue. The first and second approaches lead people to adopt the victim role by blaming others and rejecting any coping methods even after the crisis is over.
These people prefer to instinctively react, rather than respond to the situation. Those who respond to the adverse conditions by adapting themselves tend to cope, spring back, and halt the crisis. Negative emotions involve fear, anger, anxiety, distress, helplessness, and hopelessness which decrease a person's ability to solve the problems they face and weaken a person's resiliency.
Constant fears and worries weaken people's immune system and increase their vulnerability to illnesses. These processes include individual continuous coping strategies, or may be helped by a protective environment like good families , schools, communities, and social policies that make resilience more likely to occur. These factors are likely to play a more important role, the greater the individual's exposure to cumulative risk factors. Three notable bases for resilience—self-confidence, self-esteem and self-concept —all have roots in three different nervous systems—respectively, the somatic nervous system , the autonomic nervous system and the central nervous system.
An emerging field in the study of resilience is the neurobiological basis of resilience to stress. There is some limited research that, like trauma, resilience is epigenetic —that is, it may be inherited—but the science behind this finding is preliminary. Studies show that there are several factors which develop and sustain a person's resilience: .
Resilience is negatively correlated with personality traits of neuroticism and negative emotionality, which represents tendencies to see and react to the world as threatening, problematic, and distressing, and to view oneself as vulnerable. Positive correlations stands with personality traits of openness and positive emotionality, that represents tendencies to engage and confront the world with confidence in success and a fair value to self-directedness. There is significant research found in scientific literature on the relationship between positive emotions and resilience.
Studies show that maintaining positive emotions whilst facing adversity promote flexibility in thinking and problem solving. Positive emotions serve an important function in their ability to help an individual recover from stressful experiences and encounters. That being said, maintaining a positive emotionality aids in counteracting the physiological effects of negative emotions. It also facilitates adaptive coping, builds enduring social resources, and increases personal well-being.
Formation of conscious perception and monitoring one's own socioemotional factors is considered as a stability aspect of positive emotions. Individuals who tend to approach problems with these methods of coping may strengthen their resistance to stress by allocating more access to these positive emotional resources. Positive emotions not only have physical outcomes but also physiological ones.
Some physiological outcomes caused by humor include improvements in immune system functioning and increases in levels of salivary immunoglobulin A , a vital system antibody, which serves as the body's first line of defense in respiratory illnesses. A study was done on positive emotions in trait-resilient individuals and the cardiovascular recovery rate following negative emotions felt by those individuals. The results of the study showed that trait-resilient individuals experiencing positive emotions had an acceleration in the speed in rebounding from cardiovascular activation initially generated by negative emotional arousal, i.
Grit refers to the perseverance and passion for long-term goals. High grit individuals display a sustained and focused application of self in problematic situations than less gritty individuals. Grit affects the effort a person contributes by acting on the importance pathway. When people value a goal as more valuable, meaningful, or relevant to their self-concept they are willing to expend more effort on it when necessary.
The influence of individual differences in grit results in different levels of effort-related cardiac activity when gritty and less gritty individuals performed the same task. Grit is associated with differences in potential motivation, one pathway in motivational intensity theory. Grit may also influence an individual's perception of task difficulty. Grit was highly correlated with the Big Five conscientiousness trait.
Grit emphasizes long-term stamina, whereas conscientiousness focuses on short-term intensity. Grit varies with level of education and age. More educated adults tend to be higher in grit than less educated individuals of the same age. In life achievements, grit may be as important as talent. College students at an elite university who scored high in grit also earned higher GPAs than their classmates, despite having lower SAT scores.
Grit may also serve as a protective factor against suicide. A study at Stanford University found that grit was predictive of psychological health and well-being in medical residents. Individuals high in grit also focus on future goals, which may stop them from attempting suicide. It is believed that because grit encourages individuals to create and sustain life goals, these goals provide meaning and purpose in life. Grit alone does not seem to be sufficient, however. Only individuals with high gratitude and grit have decreased suicidal ideation over long periods of time.
Gratitude and grit work together to enhance meaning in life, offering protection against death and suicidal thoughts or plans. A study was conducted among high achieving professionals who seek challenging situations that require resilience. Research has examined 13 high achievers from various professions, all of whom had experienced challenges in the workplace and negative life events over the course of their careers but who had also been recognized for their great achievements in their respective fields.
Participants were interviewed about everyday life in the workplace as well as their experiences with resilience and thriving. The study found six main predictors of resilience: positive and proactive personality, experience and learning, sense of control, flexibility and adaptability, balance and perspective, and perceived social support. High achievers were also found to engage in many activities unrelated to their work such as engaging in hobbies, exercising, and organizing meetups with friends and loved ones.
Several factors are found to modify the negative effects of adverse life situations. Many studies show that the primary factor for the development of resilience is social support. Temperamental and constitutional disposition is considered as a major factor in resilience. It is one of the necessary precursors of resilience along with warmth in family cohesion and accessibility of prosocial support systems. Another protective factor is related to moderating the negative effects of environmental hazards or a stressful situation in order to direct vulnerable individuals to optimistic paths, such as external social support.
More specifically a study distinguished three contexts for protective factors: . Furthermore, a study of the elderly in Zurich, Switzerland, illuminated the role humor plays as a coping mechanism to maintain a state of happiness in the face of age-related adversity. Besides the above distinction on resilience, research has also been devoted to discovering the individual differences in resilience. Self-esteem , ego-control, and ego-resiliency are related to behavioral adaptation. Ego-control is "the threshold or operating characteristics of an individual with regard to the expression or containment"  of their impulses, feelings, and desires.
Ego-resilience refers to "dynamic capacity, to modify his or her model level of ego-control, in either direction, as a function of the demand characteristics of the environmental context" . Maltreated children who experienced some risk factors e. Furthermore, maltreated children are more likely than nonmaltreated children to demonstrate disruptive-aggressive, withdraw, and internalized behavior problems.
Finally, ego-resiliency, and positive self-esteem were predictors of competent adaptation in the maltreated children. Demographic information e. Examining people's adaptation after disaster showed women were associated with less likelihood of resilience than men. Also, individuals who were less involved in affinity groups and organisations showed less resilience. Certain aspects of religions, spirituality, or mindfulness may, hypothetically, promote or hinder certain psychological virtues that increase resilience. Research has not established connection between spirituality and resilience.
According to the 4th edition of Psychology of Religion by Hood, et al. In military studies it has been found that resilience is also dependent on group support: unit cohesion and morale is the best predictor of combat resiliency within a unit or organization. Resilience is highly correlated to peer support and group cohesion.
Units with high cohesion tend to experience a lower rate of psychological breakdowns than units with low cohesion and morale. High cohesion and morale enhance adaptive stress reactions. In cognitive behavioral therapy , building resilience is a matter of mindfully changing basic behaviors and thought patterns. Self-talk is the internal monologue people have that reinforce beliefs about the person's self-efficacy and self-value. To build resilience, the person needs to eliminate negative self-talk, such as "I can't do this" and "I can't handle this", and to replace it with positive self-talk, such as "I can do this" and "I can handle this".
This small change in thought patterns helps to reduce psychological stress when a person is faced with a difficult challenge. The second step a person can take to build resilience is to be prepared for challenges, crises, and emergencies. Resilience is also enhanced by developing effective coping skills for stress.
Coping skills include using meditation, exercise, socialization, and self-care practices to maintain a healthy level of stress, but there are many other lists associated with psychological resilience. The Besht model of natural resilience building in an ideal family with positive access and support from family and friends, through parenting illustrates four key markers.
They are:. In this model, self-efficacy is the belief in one's ability to organize and execute the courses of action required to achieve necessary and desired goals and hardiness is a composite of interrelated attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge. A number of self-help approaches to resilience-building have been developed, drawing mainly on the theory and practice of cognitive behavioral therapy CBT and rational emotive behavior therapy REBT. A meta-analysis of 17 PRP studies showed that the intervention significantly reduces depressive symptoms over time.
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The idea of 'resilience building' is debatably at odds with the concept of resilience as a process,  since it is used to imply that it is a developable characteristic of oneself. Bibliotherapy , positive tracking of events, and enhancing psychosocial protective factors with positive psychological resources are other methods for resilience building.
Contrasting research finds that strategies to regulate and control emotions, in order to enhance resilience, allows for better outcomes in the event of mental illness. These strategies focused on planning, positively reappraising events, and reducing rumination helped in maintaining a healthy continuity. The Head Start program was shown to promote resilience.
Military organizations test personnel for the ability to function under stressful circumstances by deliberately subjecting them to stress during training. Those students who do not exhibit the necessary resilience can be screened out of the training. Those who remain can be given stress inoculation training. The process is repeated as personnel apply for increasingly demanding positions, such as special forces. Resilience in children refers to individuals who are doing better than expected, given a history that includes risk or adverse experience.
Once again, it is not a trait or something that some children simply possess. There is no such thing as an 'invulnerable child' that can overcome any obstacle or adversity that he or she encounters in life—and in fact, the trait is quite common. Research on 'protective factors', which are characteristics of children or situations that particularly help children in the context of risk has helped developmental scientists to understand what matters most for resilient children.
Two of these that have emerged repeatedly in studies of resilient children are good cognitive functioning like cognitive self-regulation and IQ and positive relationships especially with competent adults, like parents.
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However, this is not a justification to expose any child to risk. Children do better when not exposed to high levels of risk or adversity. Resilient children within classroom environments have been described as working and playing well and holding high expectations, have often been characterized using constructs such as locus of control , self-esteem , self-efficacy , and autonomy. Communities play a huge role in fostering resilience. The clearest sign of a cohesive and supportive community is the presence of social organizations that provide healthy human development. Children who are repeatedly relocated do not benefit from these resources, as their opportunities for resilience-building, meaningful community participation are removed with every relocation.
Fostering resilience in children requires family environments that are caring and stable, hold high expectations for children's behavior and encourage participation in the life of the family. The definition of parental resilience, as the capacity of parents to deliver a competent and quality level of parenting to children, despite the presence of risk factors, has proven to be a very important role in children's resilience. Understanding the characteristics of quality parenting is critical to the idea of parental resilience.
Numerous studies have shown that some practices that poor parents utilize help promote resilience within families. These include frequent displays of warmth, affection, emotional support; reasonable expectations for children combined with straightforward, not overly harsh discipline; family routines and celebrations; and the maintenance of common values regarding money and leisure. Doob, "Poor children growing up in resilient families have received significant support for doing well as they enter the social world—starting in daycare programs and then in schooling.
Beyond preventing bullying , it is also important to consider how interventions based on emotional intelligence EI are important in the case that bullying does occur. Increasing EI may be an important step in trying to foster resilience among victims. When a person faces stress and adversity, especially of a repetitive nature, their ability to adapt is an important factor in whether they have a more positive or negative outcome.
A study examined adolescents who illustrated resilience to bullying and found some interesting gendered differences, with higher behavioral resilience found among girls and higher emotional resilience found among boys. Despite these differences, they still implicated internal resources and negative emotionality in either encouraging or being negatively associated with resilience to bullying respectively and urged for the targeting of psychosocial skills as a form of intervention.
Transgender youth experience a wide range of abuse and lack of understanding from the people in their environment and are better off with a high resilience to deal with their lives. A study was done looking at 55 transgender youths studying their sense of personal mastery, perceived social support, emotion-oriented coping and self-esteem. This means that transgender youths with lower resilience were more prone to mental health issues, including depression and trauma symptoms.
Emotion-oriented coping was a strong aspect of resilience in determining how depressed the individuals were. Pregnancies among adolescents are considered as a complication, as they favour education interruption, poor present and future health, higher rates of poverty, problems for present and future children, among other negative outcomes. Sotomayor Obstetric and Gynecology Hospital Guayaquil assessing resilience differences between pregnant adolescents and adults. Despite this, total CESD scores and depressed mood rate did not differ among studied groups. Logistic regression analysis could not establish any risk factor for depressed mood among studied subjects; however, having an adolescent partner and a preterm delivery related to a higher risk for lower resilience.
Oftentimes divorce is viewed as detrimental to one's emotional health, but studies have shown that cultivating resilience may be beneficial to all parties involved. The level of resilience a child will experience after their parents have split is dependent on both internal and external variables. Some of these variables include their psychological and physical state and the level of support they receive from their schools, friends, and family friends.
Children will experience divorce differently and thus their ability to cope with divorce will differ too. This comes to show that most children have the tools necessary to allow them to exhibit the resilience needed to overcome their parents' divorce. The effects of the divorce extend past the separation of both parents. The remaining conflict between parents, financial problems, and the re-partnering or remarriage of parents can cause lasting stress.
Child support is often given to help cover basic needs such as schooling. If the parents' finances are already scarce then their children may not be able to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports and music lessons, which can be detrimental to their social lives. Repartnering or remarrying can bring in additional levels of conflict and anger into their home environment. One of the reasons that re-partnering causes additional stress is because of the lack of clarity in roles and relationships; the child may not know how to react and behave with this new "parent" figure in their life.
In the past, divorce had been viewed as a "single event", but now research shows that divorce encompasses multiple changes and challenges. Certain programs such as the week Children's Support Group and the Children of Divorce Intervention Program may help a child cope with the changes that occur from a divorce. Resilience after a natural disaster can be gauged in a number of different ways. It can be gauged on an individual level, a community level, and on a physical level. The first level, the individual level, can be defined as each independent person in the community.
The second level, the community level, can be defined as all those inhabiting the locality affected. Lastly, the physical level can be defined as the infrastructure of the locality affected. The World Economic Forum met in to discuss resiliency after natural disasters. They conclude that countries that are more economically sound, and have more individuals with the ability to diversify their livelihoods, will show higher levels of resiliency.
Little research has been done on the topic of family resilience in the wake of the death of a family member. Resiliency is distinguished from recovery as the "ability to maintain a stable equilibrium"  which is conducive to balance, harmony, and recovery. Families must learn to manage familial distortions caused by the death of the family member, which can be done by reorganizing relationships and changing patterns of functioning to adapt to their new situation.
One of the healthiest behaviors displayed by resilient families in the wake of a death is honest and open communication. This facilitates an understanding of the crisis. Sharing the experience of the death can promote immediate and long-term adaptation to the recent loss of a loved one. Empathy is a crucial component in resilience because it allows mourners to understand other positions, tolerate conflict, and be ready to grapple with differences that may arise. Another crucial component to resilience is the maintenance of a routine that helps to bind the family together through regular contact and order.
The continuation of education and a connection with peers and teachers at school is an important support for children struggling with the death of a family member. Resilience has also been examined in the context of failure and setbacks in workplace settings. Beyond studies on general workplace reslience, attention has been directed to the role of resilience in innovative contexts. Due to high degrees of uncertainty and complexity in the innovation process,   failure and setbacks are naturally happening frequently in this context.
As a context-specific conceptualization of resilience, Innovator Resilience Potential IRP serves this purpose and captures the potential for innovative functioning after the experience of failure or setbacks in the innovation process and for handling future setbacks. On the one hand, in this process, IRP can be seen as an antecedent of how a setback affects an innovator.
On the other hand, IRP can be seen as an outcome of the process that, in turn, is influenced by the setback situation.
Building Resilience: A Conversation with Fiorella Velarde
Individualist cultures , such as those of the U. Independence, self-reliance, and individual rights are highly valued by members of individualistic cultures. Economic, political, and social policies reflect the culture's interest in individualism. The ideal person in individualist societies is assertive, strong, and innovative. Comparatively, in places like Japan, Sweden, Turkey, and Guatemala, Collectivist cultures emphasize family and group work goals.
The rules of these societies promote unity, brotherhood, and selflessness. Families and communities practice cohesion and cooperation. The ideal person in collectivist societies is trustworthy, honest, sensitive, and generous- emphasizing intrapersonal skills. Natural disasters threaten to destroy communities, displace families, degrade cultural integrity, and diminish an individual's level of functioning.
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In the aftermath of disaster, resiliency is called into action. Comparing individualist community reactions to collectivist community responses after disasters illustrates their differences and respective strengths as tools of resilience. Some suggest that disasters reduce individual agency and sense of autonomy as it strengthens the need to rely on other people and social structures. However, Withey and Wachtel conducted interviews and experiments on disaster survivors which indicated that disaster-induced anxiety and stress decrease one's focus on social-contextual information- a key component of collectivism.
In this way, disasters may lead to increased individualism. Mauch and Pfister questioned the association between socio-ecological indicators and cultural-level change in individualism. In their research, for each socio-ecological indicator, frequency of disasters was associated with greater rather than less individualism.
Supplementary analyses indicated that the frequency of disasters was more strongly correlated with individualism-related shifts than was the magnitude of disasters or the frequency of disasters qualified by the number of deaths. Baby-naming practices is one interesting indicator of change. According to Mauch and Pfister Urbanization was linked to preference for uniqueness in baby-naming practices at a 1-year lag, secularism was linked to individualist shifts in interpersonal structure at both lags, and disaster prevalence was linked to more unique naming practices at both lags.
Secularism and disaster prevalence contributed mainly to shifts in naming practices. There is a gap in disaster recovery research that focuses on psychology and social systems but does not adequately address interpersonal networking or relationship formation and maintenance. Q language staying always current and on top of the latest research. Right now, I am taking a class in neuroscience because we trainers need to be able to understand and explain these concepts in very simple and accessible words to everyone.
That is huge for credibility as well. FV: My new venture is a non-profit called Eduhearts, Inc. Q skills through activities and games based on research based curriculum. Parents are responding with curiosity and interest. They all acknowledge an impending need for these programs, but in places like Florida they are also concerned with test preparation.
And there are teachers who really love the children, but they are teaching to the test as well. I found a good way — I think it is- to get inside schools and teach emotional intelligence as a vendor. It is of course a risk, because this is an untapped business venture and we are still explaining it to parents.
FV: I could say so. These students are more flexible in terms of scheduling.
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They benefit learning very important tools it to socialize with other kids and become more fluid in their interpersonal dynamics. FV: Yes, it does. I also organized a virtual Seeking Refugee with a K school in Dominican Republic and they loved the material. FV: For my fellow trainers, especially newly certified ones. Keep preparing yourself, do work that allows you to harness from your strengths as a trainer, while working on your personal areas of improvement. It also affords you greater versatility to appeal to diverse clients. Children are literally taking their own lives due to exam scores and these are not fail scores, mind you.
I look forward to hearing more about what you are doing, and hope we can one day start something here as well. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. No problem! What would you like to see in the field of EQ? How did you come to learn about Six Seconds and EQ? Where does psychology overlap with Six Seconds methodology and how did you translate the terminology?
How are you spreading emotional intelligence as a Network Leader for Six Seconds? The State of the Heart report showed EQ going down. Talk about your work in schools. So you are getting some receptivity? Any closing thoughts? About Latest Posts. Rachel Goodman. Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and communications professional, editor, producer, and writer for effective outcomes.
Goodman has been a radio producer for much of her career, specializing in short features and documentaries. Her goals are to facilitate positive change in the world through effective communication, and to continue conducting her work with the highest level of integrity possible.